February 21, 2008
TACOMA - The Washington State Liquor Control Board regularly conducts compliance checks of area businesses licensed to sell alcohol on and off premises. These businesses include spirits, beer and wine restaurants, large grocery chains, neighborhood markets, taverns, wine bars and sports/entertainment facilities. Compliance checks have been shown to be an effective tool to reduce the sale of alcohol to minors.
Liquor Enforcement Officers conduct compliance checks assisted by investigative aides. These individuals are from 17 to 20 years old. They must present their true identification if asked by a clerk. However, they may attempt to be evasive if asked their age but not asked for their I.D.
Liquor Enforcement Officers are empowered to issue Administrative Violation Notices to businesses that fail compliance checks. Fines or temporary license suspensions can be issued depending on the severity of the infraction or the frequency with which a business has been cited. Persons who sell alcohol to individuals under 21 years of age can receive a misdemeanor criminal citation, as well.
During the month of January 2008, enforcement officers in the Southwest Region conducted 73 liquor compliance checks at businesses in the 13 counties of southwest Washington and 14 of those businesses sold liquor to a minor.